Down 22,061 this week

Yaaba (1989)

 -  Drama | Family  -  6 October 1989 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 350 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 5 critic

A small African village. The story focuses on Bila, a ten year old boy who befriends an old woman, Sana. Everybody calls her 'Witch' but Bila himself calls her 'Yaaba' (grandmother). When ... See full summary »


0Check in

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 34 titles
created 21 Nov 2011
a list of 21 titles
created 09 Jan 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 15 Aug 2012
a list of 23 titles
created 07 May 2013
a list of 25 titles
created 11 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Yaaba" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Yaaba (1989)

Yaaba (1989) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Yaaba.
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An 8 year old boy must return his friend's notebook he took by mistake, lest his friend be punished by expulsion from school.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Stars: Babek Ahmed Poor, Ahmed Ahmed Poor, Kheda Barech Defai
Agha Yousef (2011)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A man is living with his only daughter and does everything he can for a living and for his daughter s sake hoping she is his forever. But a misunderstanding makes everything really complicated for him.

Director: Ali Rafie
Stars: Saber Abbar, Pegah Ahangarani, Shahrokh Foroutanian
Family | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Josefin is a six year old girl who lives isolated in the countryside, where her father is a priest. She has no friends until she meets Hugo. He is a carefree boy who rather walk in the ... See full summary »

Director: Kjell Grede
Stars: Fredrik Becklén, Marie Öhman, Beppe Wolgers
Adventure | Family | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Gerhard Lamprecht
Stars: Rolf Wenkhaus, Käthe Haack, Fritz Rasp
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mohammad, a boy at Tehran's institute for the blind, waits for his dad to pick him up for summer vacation. While waiting, he realizes a baby bird has fallen from its nest: he chases away a ... See full summary »

Director: Majid Majidi
Stars: Hossein Mahjoub, Mohsen Ramezani, Salameh Feyzi
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story happens in an old house in an old city of Iran. Because of the wedding of the youngest sister, Pasandide, all of her sisters come to their old house to help their mother.

Director: Reza Mirkarimi
Stars: Reza Kianian, Negar Javaherian, Farhad Aslani
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

When Ali loses his sister's shoes, the two decide to share his to avoid getting in trouble.

Director: Majid Majidi
Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi
Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Serge Danot
Stars: Christian Riehl, Paul Bisciglia, Nadine Legrand
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty
Stars: Lissa Balera, Aminata Fall, Tayerou M'Baye


Complete credited cast:
Fatimata Sanga ...
Noufou Ouédraogo ...
Roukietou Barry ...
Adama Ouédraogo ...
Amadé Toure ...
Sibidou Ouédraogo ...
Adame Sidibe ...
Rasmane Ouedraogo ...
Kinda Moumouni ...
Assita Ouedraogo ...
Zenabou Ouedraogo ...
Ousmane Sawadogo ...


A small African village. The story focuses on Bila, a ten year old boy who befriends an old woman, Sana. Everybody calls her 'Witch' but Bila himself calls her 'Yaaba' (grandmother). When Bilas cousin Nopoko gets sick it is Sana's medicine who saves her. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family


See all certifications »



Release Date:

6 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Babcia  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Our Father (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

'Ah, that's life...'
13 November 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The title character of Yaaba says of a woman having an affair, '...she may have her reasons'. (Or so the English subtitle runs, as I cannot speak More). Yaaba could be likened to Renoir's La Regle du Jeu in that it is sympathetic with all of its characters. The script suggests that 'Everyone has his reasons' : thus we can like both Kougri and her husband Noaga who she is cuckolding.

The film appears to be shot with fast stock, it is difficult to detect artificial lighting in the shots. The compositions are not obviously artificial either, with the bustle of village (in deep focus) creating an open framing and camera-work which is unobtrusive. This realism created by the cinematography is part of sympathy the film creates - because it does not appear to manipulate or distrust its characters.

Similarly the film has a plot, but apparently 'incidental' action submerges it. Early in the film a characteristic deep long shot allows us to follow Bila and his father, but the dominant focus is actually on a random shepherd who briefly holds most of the screen space. Then instead of following Bila, the camera switches to Kougri, bringing in the narrative of her and her lover, unrelated to the title character. The film hides its plot to appear unmanipulated.

The clearly artificial element of the film is the musical score, though for the most part the film uses 'found' sounds, crickets, the wind and the background chatter of voices. The music is used to create subtle motifs to enhance the realism of the film though. For example, after Bila gifts the stolen cockerel to Sana, the score accompanies a pan of the bush which stops 'some time later' on the scene of the pair eating the chicken. It is as if Ouedraogo creates a buffer with the score and the pan so that ellipsis does not artificially juxtapose two shots.

Yaaba is a typical realist film. The unobtrusive form allows the camera to 'wander' through the village like an impartial observer, taking in an earthy mix of sex and chickens. This makes the characters sympathetic and creates a strongly humanistic impression, more powerful than Bila's sententious repetition of Sana's '...she may have her reasons' (which might have been a Hollywood director's choice to convey a film's 'message' eg Rick's speech in Casablanca).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Yaaba (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: